So it’s a week later and I’m back in doctor’s surgery getting my stitches out. I have not been very good at resting it over the last week, doing silly things like swimming the same day I got them in, going back to work within a day and walking up and down the stairs in our house several times a day. Well, the first two days it was more crawling up the stairs, and sliding down them on my backside, but I eventually managed to finagle a way to get down with only minor discomfort.
But all that aside, I’ve also been rehearsing quite a lot for the show I’m dancing in which opens in three days and some of the jumps have been pulling on my stitches, so I’m quite glad to get rid of them.
They come out and the wound looks nicely healed. The scar is a neat little line, quite unobtrusive. The doctor gives it a wipe with some antiseptic, a gentle wipe, and it COMES STRAIGHT BACK OPEN! And thus, mangina is born (Hooray!). It doesn’t bleed at all, it is just a fleshy hole on the front of my shin. Luckily the inner stitches have held and so the doctor thinks it will close by itself if we just chuck a bandage on it.
(By the way, I used to have this yearly ritual of shaving my legs in summer which was a leftover tradition from when we used to do summer shows. Luckily for me, I had continued with it as all these bandages being ripped off would have caused me soooo much pain and probably would have left me with a weird criss-cross shaped pattern in my leg hair)
Now it’s the next day, and my bandage looks really disgusting because my mangina has been weeping a bit so I go to change it.
Whilst the wound is exposed I notice something that looks too thick to be a hair protruding from the wound. It looked like those clear plastic string things that are usually attached to clothes and you have to snap them to get the tag out.
Being a compulsive nail-biter and scab-picker, my first instinct is to pull this thing, even though I realise it is probably not a good idea (I’m the sort of person who pulls on stray threads and ultimately “undoes” a jumper/t-shirt/rug). So I do. It slides out as easily as if I was pulling it out of butter, but I now realise it is the catgut stitch-loop which was supposed to have dissolved. It’s a little bit painful, but I pull the whole thing out. Needless to say, the internal reparations are now completely undone and I am once again looking at my shin bone, although I’m not quite so disgusted by it anymore.
Two days later and it’s been bleeding quite a lot and I’m running out of things to bandage it up with, so I’m back to the doctor who decides it would be best to stitch it up again, but just the outside – the internal bits will look after themselves.
The more astute readers will now realise that it is opening night for the aforementioned show, and here I am at 4 o’clock getting my leg stitched up and I am expected to be hurling myself round a stage in less than three hours. Which I do. Part way through the second song however, the anaesthetic wears off and I do the rest of the show with a very pained smile on my face.
I do the remaining three shows over the next two days with relative ease even though my re-stitched mangina is beginning to swell, throb and ooze more than is both acceptable and necessary.
So it’s back to the doctor again, this time a different doctor who prescribes anti-biotics, tells me to stop working for two weeks and just REST. Two weeks later that doctor was on the front page of the paper for prescribing drugs in exchange for sexual favours. I don’t know why I’m including this bit of trivia, especially since now you’re all thinking that I might have taken part in such activity in order to get the antibiotics……and my sadistic side means I’m going to keep you guessing by neither confirming or DENYING anything.
Anyway, it’s the next day and I’ve been resting all morning, but now I’m bored and so walk gay dog down to the shops to get a Red Eye. Whilst on this walk I feel something alarming and painful take place in my leg. So I peel back the bandage. The swelling of the mangina has gotten so out of control that my flesh has literally burst through the stitches which are now somewhere on the inside of my shin. It’s all very yellowy and so I think perhaps it is time to go to the hospital.
I’m expecting to wait for about 12 years in emergency at the hospital, but for some reason I get through to the triage nurse really quickly and a doctor comes almost straight away. He cuts the stitches loose, cleans the mangina, prescribes me with triple-extra strength antibiotics that later lay waste to my intestines and tells me to come back on Monday, when he will be working, if it gets any worse.